JLL, on Mar 31 2010, 08:11 AM, said:
Agnosticism and atheism are for fools and cowards.
Only anti-theism is rational, seeing as how much problems religions create, indirectly (influencing public opinion) or directly (suicide bombers).
Anti-theism is tyrannical and fails to understand the positive effect a free market in religion has on society.
As the tradition of governmental religious bias fades away, religions become self-selecting systems, whereby the people they attract are the people that gain the greatest benefit from them. Religions did not make people stupid - people were stupid way before religion! What religion does in a free society is it gives stupid people a set of beliefs that works for them and makes them better people. It's the "least common denominator" of morality - most people can do better, but some can't (the word "cretin" etymologically derives from the word "Christian"). Stupid people "with religion" suffer less depression, avoid greater forms of irrational and self-destructive behavior, have more goal-oriented lives, work harder, commit fewer crimes, take better care of their families, and so on. If you can't have the "Objectivist work ethic", then the "Protestant work ethic" is the next best thing. Convince a stupid / emotionally-retarded person who depends on religion that there is no God, and the next thing you know is you wake up in a hospital, the doctors tell you your skull was broken, and the police tell you they found what's left of your Mercedes and it's in way worse shape than you are...
That isn't to say that you should "go along to get along" - you can be an atheist but still respect other people's culture, with religion being no more subjective than most other cultural aspects: language, fashion, and so on. God is the necktie of human culture: it's uncomfortable, it's stupid, it serves no objective purpose, but no one will kick you out for not wearing one anymore, and some people like to wear them so who cares if they do? Why worry about some people wearing neckties when you have far, far more vile and violent people (i.e. government) bullying you around and clipping the wings of the human civilization?!
And, by the way: the overwhelming majority of suicide bombers over the past 150 years have been "godless" communists (possibly including my own grandfather, fighting for the Soviets during WW2), or nationalist groups like Tamil Tigers. Artificially pressuring cultures into atheism has always resulted in fanaticism that makes the old religion seem as mild as mother's milk in comparison!